HYS Straight Out of Undergrad - Disadvantage?

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HYS Straight Out of Undergrad - Disadvantage?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 12, 2010 7:52 pm

I've been admitted to HYS for the upcoming year, and am trying to decide whether to go straight to law school from undergrad or defer and do Teach for America for two years. My long-term goals would be to try for a clerkship and work afterward in public interest law. I'm worried that because I might enter straight from undergrad it would be harder for me to obtain summer positions and eventually full-time employment due to my lack of work experience. I thought doing TFA might show my commitment to public interest and also might allow me to intern at some non-profits/gov. agencies over the summers.

Are there any thoughts on how much lack of work experience would affect my chances of finding public interest employment after law school/summer positions? I've looked through the boards and it seems as though for biglaw hiring, work experience might play a substantial role, but I'm not sure what it looks like for public interest. Thanks in advance for any advice.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Mon Apr 12, 2010 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

270910
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Re: HYS Straight Out of Undergrad - Disadvantage?

Postby 270910 » Mon Apr 12, 2010 7:56 pm

No disadvantage at all. This thread is now over.

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GordonBombay
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Re: HYS Straight Out of Undergrad - Disadvantage?

Postby GordonBombay » Mon Apr 12, 2010 7:57 pm

I think its a great idea. Do TFA somewhere cool or warm or both.

heyguys
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Re: HYS Straight Out of Undergrad - Disadvantage?

Postby heyguys » Mon Apr 12, 2010 7:58 pm

Well, there's nothing wrong with it beyond the fact that I think going to LS straight out of ugrad is a stupid idea. By all means feel free to apply, but defer a year, imo. HTH.

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Re: HYS Straight Out of Undergrad - Disadvantage?

Postby 270910 » Mon Apr 12, 2010 7:59 pm

GordonBombay wrote:I think its a great idea. Do TFA somewhere cool or warm or both.


Doing TFA because you want to is a great idea. Doing TFA because it will help you get a public interest job is a non-sequitur. Going to and doing well in a good law school will help you get a public interest job.

To expand slightly, having significant non-profit experience before law school will obviously be nice - but it is by no stretch of the imagination a requirement for ANY kind of legal job. Starting law school resets your timer. Once you have that acceptance in hand, nothing you can do will make your LEGAL career outlook enough better to warrant putting off law school.

Now this thread is really, extremely over.

spondee
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Re: HYS Straight Out of Undergrad - Disadvantage?

Postby spondee » Mon Apr 12, 2010 8:02 pm

I think some real work experience is always in your favor: most importantly, it matures you (both professionally and socially). And there are likely less significant benefits as well. For example, it also provides you with something to talk about in interviews that can help you to stand out when employers are interviewing 25 people a day. But the law students with real experience are usually the minority; which means to say that a lack of experience won't hurt you.

If you want to do Teach for America, you should. If you're only thinking about doing it for resume reasons, it may not be a good idea.

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Re: HYS Straight Out of Undergrad - Disadvantage?

Postby Hammurabi » Mon Apr 12, 2010 8:02 pm

1. Straight to HYS
2. PI clinics/student organizations
3. Soul Profit

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Re: HYS Straight Out of Undergrad - Disadvantage?

Postby HITeacher2 » Tue Apr 13, 2010 12:19 am

disco_barred wrote:Doing TFA because you want to is a great idea. Doing TFA because it will help you get a public interest job is a non-sequitur. Going to and doing well in a good law school will help you get a public interest job.


This. I got into HYS JD/MBA (ok, not Y) straight out of undergrad in 2008 and deferred to do TFA in a tropical climate. I figured going right into the MBA without work experience was probably a bad idea, but also really really really wanted to do TFA for personal reasons that have to do with the impact teachers made in my life. Am I glad I did TFA? Absolutely, I wouldn't change that for the world. But I'll be the first to admit that teaching is about 50 times harder than anything I've ever done before and teaching where TFA teaches is about 500 times harder than anything I've ever done before. There were definitely days where I went home and couldn't stop crying because of the emotional toll of what my job entails - not easy for a guy to say.

Doing TFA because you have an actual passion for closing the education gap is awesome, and totally worth it. Doing TFA just to take some time off, or to put it on your resume for future job searches, can be one of the worst things you ever do. Teaching in the places that TFA teaches is a really trying experience, and since you can't back out (it'll jeopardize your deferral) you could be setting yourself up for the worst two years of your life. Or the best - but is it worth it to take that gamble on something you're not truly passionate about?

On a side note, know that (at least for my region) deferring is actually pretty rare. I know almost no CMs that deferred something (and this was in 2008, when there was stuff to defer). Of the few that I do know, a healthy number fell in love with what they were doing, and screwed what they were deferring to stay and teach a few more years. Plus, the school you end up being placed at will totally expect you to stay there for the long haul (i'm taking career teaching). Not everybody's gonna appreciate the amazing opportunity you have waiting for you at the end of your teaching experience.

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Re: HYS Straight Out of Undergrad - Disadvantage?

Postby limyanko » Tue Apr 13, 2010 12:28 am

HITeacher2 is 100% correct, and said everything I had initially intended to. Just chiming in to let you know that his is not a lone opinion.

Also, HITeacher2, hello from an 08 GNO corps member that's about to move to Hawaii and join staff :)

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Re: HYS Straight Out of Undergrad - Disadvantage?

Postby KG_CalGuy » Tue Apr 13, 2010 12:36 am

Agree with everybody thus far that has said you should do TFA because you want to do it. Also, if you want to do something related to educational policy, then TFA might be useful. When I was considering applying to TFA (which I ultimately decided against), I spoke with many TFA reps/alum that told me how they spent their summers working with non-profit organizations to address deficiencies in the educational system. If that's something that you're interested in and passion about, I think TFA would definitely serve you well. But, above all else, if you aren't passionate about TFA's mission and aren't that interested in teaching, please don't do it, students deserve a teacher who makes them their priority, not a means to help them get a job down the line.

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Re: HYS Straight Out of Undergrad - Disadvantage?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Apr 13, 2010 1:17 am

Thank you to everyone for the thoughtful replies. Here is my main issue: I want to be a teacher, but I have major qualms about TFA as an organization. I grew up in a lower-income neighborhood and have been screwed over by/seen how the public school system screwed over some of my friends and family. Aspects of TFA's philosophy/their approach to recruitment and closing the education gap seriously irk me. Honestly, their administration reminds me a bit of the admin at the public schools I went to (not a good thing). I basically want the job that TFA can help me get (it would be close to impossible to get a job in the district I'm looking at without TFA), but I don't really want to be associated with TFA...

Sorry if this is a bit off forum topic, but this issue has been bugging me for a while. I have talked to a former corps member who I asked about the brain-washing/cult-like aspects of TFA and he said he basically blew off all the meetings, resulting in him not receiving the education award for the second year (but they eventually held him up as a model corps member because his students had great test results). I can see that being something that I might do. So yes, I do want to be a teacher. I don't necessarily want to be a TFA corps member...

The reason I was able to enter a good undergrad from my high school is because I resisted the crap/ propaganda that the administration/teachers tried to sell me. In some ways, I don't really see how TFA is any different.

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Re: HYS Straight Out of Undergrad - Disadvantage?

Postby pugalicious » Tue Apr 13, 2010 1:28 am

Anonymous User wrote: I basically want the job that TFA can help me get (it would be close to impossible to get a job in the district I'm looking at without TFA), but I don't really want to be associated with TFA...


I don't understand this at all. TFA exists to place teachers in districts that have a hard time hiring/keeping teachers (and the whole "closing the gap" bit, but these go hand in hand). The reality is, ITE, any teaching jobs are getting very few and far between, even in these difficult districts. If TFA can get you in, and you have a desire to teach, then go with them (of course, this is just based on my experience, in CA and AZ, it may be different in other states, specifically those crazy enough to, I don't know, value education).

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GordonBombay
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Re: HYS Straight Out of Undergrad - Disadvantage?

Postby GordonBombay » Tue Apr 13, 2010 1:39 am

I just think you should do something else before law. Kinda get it out of your system, grow up a little. See what other people are doing and make sure you dont want to do that. Even if it is super hard you will have woken up every morning and made it happen from 9 to 5. This is valuable.

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Re: HYS Straight Out of Undergrad - Disadvantage?

Postby HITeacher2 » Tue Apr 13, 2010 2:57 am

limyanko wrote:Also, HITeacher2, hello from an 08 GNO corps member that's about to move to Hawaii and join staff :)


Greetings to you as well! I'm heading back to the mainland June 1st but I'll never forget my time here. There are staff members who inspire me every time I think of them (you'll know exactly who I'm talking about if they stay on staff next year), but a small shake-up is always healthy. Great to know you're coming to help =)

Anonymous User wrote:Here is my main issue: I want to be a teacher, but I have major qualms about TFA as an organization. I grew up in a lower-income neighborhood and have been screwed over by/seen how the public school system screwed over some of my friends and family. Aspects of TFA's philosophy/their approach to recruitment and closing the education gap seriously irk me. Honestly, their administration reminds me a bit of the admin at the public schools I went to (not a good thing). I basically want the job that TFA can help me get (it would be close to impossible to get a job in the district I'm looking at without TFA), but I don't really want to be associated with TFA...

Sorry if this is a bit off forum topic, but this issue has been bugging me for a while. I have talked to a former corps member who I asked about the brain-washing/cult-like aspects of TFA and he said he basically blew off all the meetings, resulting in him not receiving the education award for the second year (but they eventually held him up as a model corps member because his students had great test results). I can see that being something that I might do. So yes, I do want to be a teacher. I don't necessarily want to be a TFA corps member...

The reason I was able to enter a good undergrad from my high school is because I resisted the crap/ propaganda that the administration/teachers tried to sell me. In some ways, I don't really see how TFA is any different.


Hmm... I have some really mixed feelings on the stuff you said. I have no idea what you're talking about when you reference your public-school administration but I'm honestly really curious.

During the first part of the TFA experience (institute, round zero), TFA is really hands-on. The organization basically trains you like 16 hours a day for 5 weeks to make sure you can be an effective teacher when you hit the ground running and sets up your interviews so you can get a teaching job. You gotta have an open mind and try out the stuff that they teach, if you just blow it off and do nothing TFA can still kick you out during the summer (although they really hate doing that).

Once training is done and you're placed, it becomes a lot more hands off. TFA tries to provide you with support, but given the limited funding there's only a few staff people for a lot of CMs. You do have to attend a moderate amount of supplemental professional development - if you don't you don't qualify for the AmeriCorps award. I guess at this point you could blow TFA off but I can't really see why you would; all this stuff is designed to help you be a better teacher so your students can learn more. The truth about teaching is there is a LOT to learn and it can take many years to get good; the whole point of the meetings and such is to help you learn as much as you can as quickly as you can. It's not always effective, but it has the right intentions.

Honestly, if you're going to be an effective teacher and TFA is going to help you get there, by all means do it. The more good teachers there are in underserved classrooms, the better; we're all in this together. While I think it's unfortunate that you're so anti-TFA without having yet experienced it, I gotta admit that I don't think there's anybody in TFA who isn't critical of the organization. True, some CMs are more bitter than others, but it's this critical attitude that what makes TFA so strong. For the most part, the organization is very introspective and tries to use that criticism to make itself better and better over time, which can be evidenced in its recent successes. It would just be nice if you went in with an open mind and tried it on before knocking it.

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Re: HYS Straight Out of Undergrad - Disadvantage?

Postby 00TREX00 » Tue Apr 13, 2010 1:57 pm

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Last edited by 00TREX00 on Thu Aug 01, 2013 8:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: HYS Straight Out of Undergrad - Disadvantage?

Postby ConMan345 » Tue Apr 13, 2010 2:02 pm

Just talked to some TFAers this weekend. All but one said their first year was absolutely, positively miserable. One was living with three other TFAers, and they were all in therapy and on antidepressants most of the year. One actually got physically ill walking up to her school.

Anecdotal, of course.




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